"Fox News Sunday" featured a fabulous interview with Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush today demonstrating that regardless of their political leaning, these are two fine gentlemen who deeply love their country and have the utmost respect for the office they held.
What was particularly fascinating was how they both had nothing but positive things to say about president-elect Barack Obama, as well as his cabinet picks, and that they refused to say anything negative about him.
In fact, if you forward to minute 3:00 of the video embedded below the fold, you'll witness an absolutely marvelous discussion about why they believe former presidents should keep their opposing views of the current executive to themselves, as well as what they think of administration leakers and those that write tell-all books for financial gain (partial transcript follows as well):
BRIT HUME, HOST: Now, you've watched this range of appointments that Barack Obama has announced; your take on it, your feeling about it?
THE PRESIDENT: I've been impressed.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, because, one, he showed decisiveness. Two, he has picked people that are capable and competent people. And I think he's had a very good transition. And frankly, I think Josh Bolten, my Chief of Staff, and the people that work here in the White House have also had a good transition because they have reached out to the President-elect's team at all levels. And the message is we want there to be a seamless move from us leaving and you coming in, and we want you to succeed.
And so I've been very pleased with what I've seen since the election.
HUME: Do you agree with that?
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, totally. Totally. And if I didn't, I wouldn't tell you - same policy. (Laughter.)
HUME: Well, what - look, you - this is very like you, and like you, as well, to refrain from comment on the other political figures, the incumbent President and so on. Why?
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, why be out there looking like you're carping and criticizing and know everything? I mean, I've heard what the President said about President Obama, President-Elect Obama. I feel the same way; support him where you can, and don't go out there criticizing and carping. You look small yourself for one thing, but that's not the main reason; the main reason is he needs support. And if it's something you disagree with violently, sit on the sidelines and shut up.
THE PRESIDENT: There will be plenty of opportunities for people to carp, trust me. I mean, this is a job that -
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, yes, I know there will.
THE PRESIDENT: - and Dad knows as well as anybody, you'll get plenty of opinions when you're the President, and you'll get plenty of flattering statements, and you'll get your fair share of not so complimentary comments.
I also remember what it was like to have people disappoint you. I mean, you'll be picking up the newspaper and reading comments from people that you just say, well, I just can't believe that that person would be so kind of not respectful of their own office, much less yours, to call those kind of names. And to me that has been the biggest disappointment in the political process up here; there has been this kind of bitterness by a few people to the point where they don't want to have a logical discussion or a civil discussion about policy, they just want to tear you down.
HUME: Do you think that's gotten worse since your days in the White House?
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't know that it's gotten worse, but it's offensive, very offensive. And I always - I'll agree with the President that when you have somebody you have your own trust in, and that person for his own gain - thinks it's for his own gain - goes out and gives kind of "here's the inside story," is what they're saying, "but here's what's really happening," playing the leak game. It's just horrible. And every administration has that. But I think President George Bush here has been lucky, there hasn't been that many of them.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: And I think we were pretty lucky.